The End of QE Will Always Devolve Into This Sort of Incoherent Mess

By |2018-12-13T17:18:48+00:00December 13th, 2018|Bonds, Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

That was a circus. These things are typically ungraceful to begin with, but this one was in a class by itself. Mario Draghi, the leader of the rudderless ECB, was in top form today. For pure entertainment value, he couldn’t have done better. People think that’s not the job of a top central banker but [...]

‘Paris’ Technocrats Face Another Drop

By |2018-12-11T12:49:37+00:00December 11th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

How quickly things change. Only a few days ago, a fuel tax in France was blamed for widespread rioting. Today, Emmanuel Macron’s government under siege threatens to break its fiscal budget. Having given up on gasoline and diesel, the French government now promises wage increases and tax cuts. Italy has found competition in the race [...]

The Obvious Politics of Downturn(s)

By |2018-11-14T17:35:14+00:00November 14th, 2018|Markets|

There was more than enough evidence that QE didn’t work fifteen years ago. The Japanese had accumulated these monetary experiments at the dawn of the 21st century. And there was even a time when US and Western central bankers were skeptical. What happened was 2008; a dislocation so big and widespread they had no choice [...]

Europe More Than Europe: From ‘Boom’ To The Precipice of Recession

By |2018-10-30T12:09:57+00:00October 30th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Data dependent, they claim. They aren’t. Mario Draghi at his last press conference admitted, “incoming information, [is] somewhat weaker than expected.” There is so much riding on the word “somewhat.” Because of the weasel, the head of the ECB told the assembled media policy normalization was unimpeded. He did so with a straight face. Good. [...]

Exhibit A For No Growth

By |2018-09-27T16:53:16+00:00September 27th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) revised Q2 GDP to a 4.07464% continuously compounded annual rate from 4.13987%. More importantly, the BEA provided revised benchmark estimates for corporate profits. The good news is that the benchmark was higher. The bad news is that companies still aren’t making any money. All the revisions applied to long [...]

The Only People Who Don’t (Want To) See It

By |2018-09-17T19:42:15+00:00September 17th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

If everything was going to plan, non-standard monetary policy at the zero lower bound (QE) would have raised inflation expectations increasing the level of aggregate demand as businesses and consumers ramped up their activities in anticipation of higher costs. The more this “overheating” goes on, the more forceful it becomes. Eventually, by virtue of the [...]

Yes, Sweden Is A Domino

By |2018-09-12T12:17:39+00:00September 12th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Over the weekend, another European nation turned toward the populist direction. It was enough to get one’s attention when Italy did it, but Sweden is something else altogether. The country has been long held out as an exemplar of everything that is right with globalization. They have industry, youth, etc. How in the world could [...]

Prefiguring The Expected Expectations Fail

By |2018-09-10T18:24:12+00:00September 10th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets, Stocks|

The Boston Fed held its 62nd Annual Economic Conference over the weekend. Not quite as well-known as the KC Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium, this Eastern branch’s meeting still attracts many big-name speakers. The “right” speakers, that is, meaning academic and mainstream bank Economists, supranational think tank thinkers, as well as current and former central bankers. [...]